"Silly and a great coxcomb," Robert Ferrars is certain that his own vanity is of greater worth than Edward's modesty and self-effacement. He attributes this to his education at Westminster, a famous English public school.
When Elinor notices him in Gray's, the jewelry store, making a great fuss over his choice of a toothpick case, his glance demands admiration rather than gives it. Utterly foolish in his views, he talks nonsense to Elinor on their second meeting, breaking into lavish praise of cottages: "Elinor agreed to it all, for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rational opposition."
With careless good nature, he first visits Lucy to try to persuade her to break off her engagement to Edward. But Lucy, by encouraging him to talk about himself, soon wins his interest and gets him to marry her.
Robert's chief traits are vanity and pride: "He was proud of his conquest, proud of tricking Edward, and very proud of marrying privately without his mother's consent." After his marriage, he easily wins his mother's forgiveness "by the simple expedient of asking for it."